Since my son was born in late October, it has been pretty quiet around The Adventure Dad. But finally, after months of gathering equipment, trial runs, and waiting for snow to arrive, my daughter and I finally made it up for her first day skiing!!!
We leave the house the house around 9:02 AM on Saturday, arriving at Eldora just before 10 AM. There is still room in the main parking lot. We quickly get our gear on and pull out the skis. From that point, nothing happens quickly 🙂
Getting from my SUV to the ticket counter, and then from the ticket counter to the magic carpet lift, is nearly impossible. My daughter decides she can’t walk in the ski boots. We put on the skis so I can drag her with my pole. That doesn’t help. She sits down on the snow. She seems to have become glued to the ground. We remove our skis and walk, slowly.
We arrive at the base of Tenderfoot and Ho Hum. We watch other children come down the gentle slope. We eat some ski treats. My daughter proclaims she can’t do the Tenderfoot – tow magic carpet and wants to take the nearby Little Hawk chair lift. I explain that we have to master Tenderfoot before we can take Little Hawk to Ho Hum. This inspires her. We awkwardly move into the Tenderfoot – tow line. When it is our turn, I talk to the lift operator about how to manage the entrance and exit from the magic carpet – my daughter obviously can barely navigate at this point (I’m dragging her through the line, shuffling her legs, making her skis turn). He recommends I place my daughter between my skis and we both get on the magic carpet at the same time.
We have great fun taking the Tenderfoot – tow.We are thankful to have our balaclavas and all our warm gear as the wind picks up in sudden gusts.
Once on the slope, we practice falling. First falling up the hill. Then falling down the hill. My daughter periodically proclaims she, “can’t do this”. I later learn this translates to “I’m scared.” I decide to ski down with her between between my legs, to give her the sensation. This worked well ice skating and seems like a quick way for her to experience the thrill of skiing.
We zip down the hill and ski right into the Tenderfoot – tow line and manage our way onto the magic carpet a second time.
Back on the slope, I convince my daughter that she can ski on her own if she just keeps her legs straight. This works! Once she goes about a dozen feet and crashes on her own. We recover and have a ski treat. The second time we ski down next to each other, farther, with me holding her wrist. This turns out to be a terrible idea that ends up with her going head over heels when her ski edge catches. The third time, I run down the slope twenty feet or so. My daughter manages to get her legs parallel and really starts cruising all by herself! My screams to make a “snowplow” fall on deaf ears, she barrels towards me, going Mach 10, and I wind up grabbing her off the slope to keep her from going wildly out of control. Her Lucky Bums Easy Wedge (tip connector) has broken. We have more ski treats. We gather up broken pieces of the tip connector. We eat some snow.
For the last part of the slope I ski backwards, bending over and holding her ski tips, directing her skis to form a pizza pie shape, turning her left and then straight and then right and so on, to give her the sensation of doing the snowplow. We arrive at the bottom and eat more ski treats. She has become addicted to ski treats! My daughter is ready to go home, she says. We ski together down into the parking lot and slowly make our way, with her using my poles to push herself, back to the SUV.
By 11 AM, we are heading back down to Nederland, where we take a couple spins on the Carousel of Happiness.